One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
Any plant of the family Menispermaceae, the moonseed family.
Mid 19th century; earliest use found in Alfred Garrod (1819–1907), physician. From scientific Latin Menispermum, genus name (adopted by Linnaeus in his Species Plantarum I. 340, after J. P. de Tournefort in Mém. de l'Acad. Royale des Sci. 1705 237) from ancient Greek μήνη + -i- + ancient Greek σπέρμα seed, referring to the crescent-shaped seeds. Compare French ménisperme.
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